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10 Blue Hydrangea Tips for Beautiful Blooms

Looking for blue hydrangea tips so that you can take the best care of your beautiful blooms? This is the post for you!

blue hydrangea tips

Hello fellow hydrangea lover!

Here to learn how to keep your blue hydrangeas thriving?

You’re in the right place because this article is all about blue hydrangea tips!

Hydrangeas, with their stunning blooms and versatile nature, have become a beloved choice for gardens and landscapes worldwide.

These deciduous and perennial flowering shrubs are renowned for their ability to thrive in various climates and soil conditions.

What truly sets them apart, however, is the remarkable diversity among different hydrangea types, each distinguished by unique characteristics, flower forms, and growth habits.

What are the main different types of hydrangeas?

Before we get into our blue hydrangea tips, we will explore some of the main types of hydrangeas, offering insights into their features and the best ways to care for them.

If you’d like to read more about each different main variety of hydrangea, be sure to read this post.

1. Hydrangea macrophylla (Bigleaf or Mophead Hydrangea):

  • Flower Form: One of the most popular hydrangea types, Hydrangea macrophylla, is known for its large, rounded flower clusters that resemble pom-poms. These blooms can range in color from blue to pink and even shades of purple, depending on soil pH.
  • Varieties: Bigleaf hydrangeas encompass two main varieties – mophead and lacecap. Mophead varieties have dense, ball-shaped clusters of flowers, while lacecap varieties have a flat-topped appearance with small, fertile flowers surrounded by larger, sterile ones.

2. Hydrangea paniculata (Panicled Hydrangea):

  • Flower Form: Panicled hydrangeas feature elongated, cone-shaped flower clusters. These blooms often start off white or cream-colored and may change to shades of pink or red as they mature.
  • Characteristics: Panicled hydrangeas are appreciated for their hardiness, adaptability to different soil types, and the ability to tolerate more sun than some other hydrangea varieties. Popular cultivars include ‘Limelight’ and ‘PeeGee.’

3. Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea):

  • Flower Form: Smooth hydrangeas are characterized by their large, round flower heads. The blooms are typically white or greenish-white and have a classic, timeless appeal.
  • Notable Variety: ‘Annabelle’ is a well-known smooth hydrangea variety, prized for its large, globe-like flower heads and robust growth habit. It is particularly favored for its ability to bloom on new wood each year.

4. Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea):

  • Flower Form: Oakleaf hydrangeas derive their name from the shape of their leaves, which resemble those of oak trees. The flower clusters are cone-shaped and may change color as they age, often transitioning from white to pink or purplish-red.
  • Foliage and Fall Interest: Beyond their flowers, oakleaf hydrangeas boast attractive foliage that turns vibrant shades of red, orange, and burgundy in the fall, adding to their ornamental appeal.

5. Hydrangea serrata (Mountain Hydrangea):

  • Flower Form: Similar to Hydrangea macrophylla, mountain hydrangeas feature lacecap or mophead flower clusters. However, they tend to be smaller in size and have a more delicate appearance.
  • Compact Size: Mountain hydrangeas are well-suited for smaller gardens and containers, making them a versatile choice for those with limited space.

Related Reading: 15 Best Companion Plants for Endless Summer Hydrangea

What makes hydrangeas turn blue?

We’ll get to our blue hydrangea tips soon, but first, you should understand why hydrangeas turn blue in the first place.

The vibrant blue color of hydrangea blooms is a result of a fascinating interaction between the plant’s genetics, soil pH, and the availability of aluminum.

Hydrangeas have the ability to produce blue flowers when certain conditions are met.

blue hydrangea tips

Here’s a breakdown of the factors that contribute to the blue coloration of hydrangea blooms:

Genetics:

The genetics of the hydrangea plant play a crucial role in determining its flower color. Different hydrangea species and varieties have varying levels of pigment production and sensitivity to environmental factors.

Soil pH:

Soil pH, which measures the acidity or alkalinity of the soil, is a key factor influencing the color of hydrangea blooms. Hydrangeas exhibit a fascinating response to changes in soil pH.

In acidic soils (lower pH), typically with a pH level below 6.0, hydrangeas tend to produce blue flowers.

The presence of aluminum ions in the soil is essential for the formation of blue pigments in the flowers. Keep this in mind when reading our blue hydrangea tips!

Aluminum Availability:

Aluminum is a naturally occurring element in soil, and its availability to plants depends on the soil pH. In acidic soils, aluminum is more soluble and accessible to the hydrangea’s root system.

When the plant absorbs aluminum, it forms complexes with pigments in the flowers, resulting in the development of blue hues.

Soil Amendments:

Gardeners who desire blue hydrangea blooms can influence the soil pH to create the right conditions.

Adding amendments such as aluminum sulfate to the soil can lower the pH and increase the availability of aluminum, promoting the development of blue flowers.

It’s important to note that altering soil pH is a gradual process, and it may take some time for the changes to reflect in the color of the hydrangea blooms.

Pink vs. Blue Hydrangeas:

In contrast to blue hydrangeas, hydrangeas tend to produce pink flowers in more alkaline soils (higher pH).

In alkaline conditions, aluminum becomes less available to the plant, and a different set of pigments, known as anthocyanins, dominate, resulting in pink or red colors.

It’s worth mentioning that not all hydrangea varieties can change color based on soil pH. For instance, white hydrangeas (like some varieties of Hydrangea arborescens) remain white regardless of soil pH.

So – these blue hydrangea tips will not apply to those varieties!

Blue Hydrangea Tips for Beautiful Blooms

So which hydrangea varieties are blue?

There are many different subtypes of hydrangeas that can be blue. However, here are some popular varieties known for blue blooms.

1. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’

A popular mophead hydrangea that is prized for its ability to bloom on both old and new wood, providing continuous blooms throughout the growing season. It comes in various colors, including shades of blue.

2. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Nikko Blue’

One of the classic mophead hydrangeas, ‘Nikko Blue’ is renowned for its large, rounded clusters of bright blue flowers. The color intensifies in acidic soils.

3. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blaumeise’ (Blue Tit)

This mophead hydrangea features vibrant blue flowers and compact growth, making it suitable for smaller gardens or containers.

4. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Forever Blue’

True to its name, ‘Forever Blue’ is a mophead hydrangea with intense blue flowers. It is known for its compact and sturdy growth.

5. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Twist and Shout’

A lacecap hydrangea with a unique twist – it combines the traits of lacecap and mophead varieties. ‘Twist and Shout’ produces blue or pink flowers, depending on soil conditions.

6. Hydrangea serrata ‘Blue Billow’

A mountain hydrangea variety with lacecap-like flowers that can range from blue to pink, depending on soil pH. It has a compact habit and is suitable for smaller spaces.

7. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Veitchii’ (Blue Wave)

‘Veitchii’ is a mophead hydrangea with large, sky-blue flowers. It is known for its vigorous growth and striking blue coloration.

8. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Blue Deckle’

This mophead hydrangea stands out with its unique serrated (deckled) petals. It produces rich blue flowers that add a touch of elegance to the garden.

9. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Glory Blue’

A compact mophead hydrangea with deep blue flowers. ‘Glory Blue’ is valued for its ability to thrive in containers or smaller garden spaces.

10. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘You & Me Together’

This lacecap hydrangea offers double flowers with a mix of blue and pink hues. The coloration can vary based on soil conditions.

You Might Also Like: Blue Wave Hydrangea Care & Growing Tips

Where to buy blue hydrangeas online?

Blue hydrangeas are super popular, so it’s fairly easy to shop for them online. Here are our favorite places to buy blue hydrangeas on the internet:

1. Nature Hills Nursery

Nature Hills Nursery is an excellent online destination for purchasing a wide variety of plants, including almost every type of hydrangea.

2. Perfect Plants Nursery

If you are interested in oakleaf hydrangea varieties or hydrangea trees, Perfect Plants Nursery is the best place to get started. (They have regular bigleaf varieties as well.)

3. Park Seed

If you are looking for all of the classics plus some unique hydrangea varieties in the mix, you’ll want to check Park Seed.

4. Plants By Mail

If you are on the hunt for just the classics (such as Endless Summer) you might want to check Plants By Mail

5. Planting Tree

Planting Tree is a renowned online plant store with a focus on quality and customer satisfaction. They have a beautiful collection of hydrangeas, ranging from classic varieties to unique hybrids, including the coveted Nikko Blue hydrangea!

Now that you know all you need to know about how blue hydrangeas work and where to buy them, let’s get to our tips for taking care of blue hydrangeas.

Helpful Tips for Taking Care of Blue Hydrangeas

10 Blue Hydrangea Tips for Beautiful Blooms

Achieving and maintaining those beautiful blue blooms requires a bit of understanding and care. Here are 11 tips to help you cultivate and enjoy stunning blue hydrangea blossoms in your garden.

1. Choose the Right Variety

Start your blue hydrangea journey by selecting hydrangea varieties known for their blue blooms. Varieties such as ‘Nikko Blue,’ ‘Endless Summer,’ and ‘Blue Billow’ are popular choices that exhibit vibrant blue hues.

2. Understand Soil pH

The soil’s acidity or alkalinity, known as pH, significantly influences hydrangea flower color.

Blue hydrangeas thrive in acidic to slightly acidic soil (pH 5.5 to 6.0). Test your soil and make adjustments as needed to create the ideal conditions for blue pigmentation. Otherwise, your hydrangeas may turn purple or pink.

3. Amend Soil with Aluminum Sulfate

To enhance the availability of aluminum in the soil (essential for blue coloration), consider amending the soil with aluminum sulfate.

Follow recommended application rates, as excessive use can harm the plant.

Tip: There are fertilizers designed to turn or keep your hydrangeas blue. We recommend Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier.

4. Mulch with Organic Material

Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of your hydrangeas to help retain soil moisture and regulate temperature. (Bark dust is always an easy choice.)

This can contribute to overall plant health and promote the uptake of nutrients.

5. Provide Consistent Moisture

Hydrangeas are, as the name suggests, lovers of water.

Consistent soil moisture is crucial for healthy growth and vibrant blooms. Water deeply and regularly, especially during dry periods.

6. Avoid Liming the Soil

Liming the soil increases its alkalinity, which can shift hydrangea blooms towards pink or red tones.

If you’re aiming for blue, skip the lime and maintain a slightly acidic soil environment.

7. Choose the Right Location

Select a planting location with filtered sunlight or partial shade, as intense sunlight can stress the plants and impact flower color.

Morning sun and afternoon shade are generally ideal for blue hydrangeas.

8. Prune at the Right Time

Understand the pruning requirements of your specific hydrangea variety.

In general, avoid heavy pruning in late summer or fall, as this can remove potential flower buds for the next season.

9. Protect from Harsh Elements

Shield your hydrangeas from harsh winds and extreme weather conditions, as these can damage the delicate blooms.

A sheltered location can help preserve the quality of your blue hydrangea blossoms.

10. Enjoy the Transformation

Finally, be patient and enjoy the evolving beauty of your blue hydrangeas.

The color transformation may take some time, especially if you are amending the soil. Revel in the anticipation and watch as your hydrangeas unveil their stunning blue blooms.

Cultivating blue hydrangea blooms is a rewarding endeavor that involves a harmonious interplay of soil chemistry, plant care, and a dash of patience.

By following these tips, you can create an optimal environment for your hydrangeas to produce those breathtaking blue blossoms, turning your garden into a haven of serene beauty.

Best of luck with your blue hydrangeas,

-Your Fellow Hydrangea Lover

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